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It’s been a Franco-centric month as I looked at French initiatives that provide new vigor in a country where it has lost share. I went to the first Bordeaux Fete Le Vin in Miyun County. First Vinexpo Shanghai. Tasted the first commercial vintage of Lafite’s Chinese wine, Longdai. And met Michel Bettane and his team and learned more of their B+D events.
It’s all covered in this Wine Searcher piece Check it out! Here’s the opening:
Who imagined 10 years ago that France, with a grip on half of China’s imported bottled wine market, would one day play catch up? But Australia has topped France for value this year and, along with Chile, is in hot pursuit for the volume title.
Fingers point to many reasons for the fall – from the China free trade deals of rivals Australia and Chile to the growing niche of curious consumers pursuing other options — thanks to social media, online retail and global retail — beyond what was once the default French purchase.
The country’s leading region, Bordeaux, isn’t immune, either. Everyone from Chinese investors there to medium-sized producers who have spent up to a decade building a China presence are concerned about declining share.
So what is France doing about it?
Actually, at least during the past few months, quite a bit. We’ve seen a series of new launches and initiatives that might well help the country shore up its position in China.
You can find the full Wine Searcher piece here. And I’ll have more on all of these French initiatives soon–I took a lot of notes.